A Secret Keeps


Before a weekend visit to his grandparents' farm, a little boy discovers that his grandpa has a secret waiting for him. "Grampa, what's the secret," he asks, but all Grampa will say is, "Finders keepers."

Is the secret in the barn? With the chickens? Hiding in the corn? When the boy finally discovers the answer, he realizes that a secret is indeed for keeping.

Read More Show ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $14.21   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


Before a weekend visit to his grandparents' farm, a little boy discovers that his grandpa has a secret waiting for him. "Grampa, what's the secret," he asks, but all Grampa will say is, "Finders keepers."

Is the secret in the barn? With the chickens? Hiding in the corn? When the boy finally discovers the answer, he realizes that a secret is indeed for keeping.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - JoAn Watson Martin
The farm and surrounding pastures and fields float into pastoral scenes. A boy's weekend visit to his grandparent's farm illustrates everything that makes a farm such a lovely place: cows, roosters, peeper frogs, fields and fences, a campfire and coyotes. The kitchen scene features a refrigerator covered with grandchildren's artwork. Nothing arouses more curiosity, perks up ears, or creates more questions than a secret. "Finders Keepers" is all Grampa will say. When the boy asks Gramma if she knows the secret, she says, "A secret is for keeping." Cali Cat only stares. Gus Cat washes his paws. Maybe the secret is hiding high in the barn's rafters. The boy wonders if the cornfield might have heard the secret. After all, a cornfield is "all ears." He wishes he had the eyes of the owls so he could spot the secret. He tries to sing himself to sleep, "I see the moon, the moon sees me," but still no answers. Finally the small boy can wait no longer. One dark and scary night he sneaks out of the house. When he hears a small "mew," he bravely climbs up the barn ladder and finds kittens pouncing high and low. Now he turns the tables and reminds his grandparents, "It's not a secret if you tell. A secret is for keeping." Heather Solomon's art contributes to the calming, quiet atmosphere. Reviewer: JoAn Watson Martin
Kirkus Reviews
Chall employs alliteration and rhyme to lyrically portray a young boy's quiet adventure on his grandparents' farm. After a car trip that lasts "two sleeps," the boy is eager to find the secret his Grampa has promised in this bucolic landscape. He questions his grandparents and the animals during a campfire, a henhouse visit and a cornfield trek. At bedtime the moon inspires him to slip outside. Under the moonlight he fancies himself a pirate going aboard a galleon. "Where is the secret treasure?" "I find the ladder, / take a breath, / then climb up to the loft. / Shhhh, the pirate hushes. / Then something brushes, / something soft." Astute readers will already know the answer from a foreshadowed "mew." It is the interplay between the author's poetic language and the lush illustrations Solomon provides that elevates the story from the usual new-pet fare. A mix of various paints and collage creates dreamy settings rooted with sharp details. On a pivotal spread, watery deep-blue barn planks bleed together while the finely detailed straw focuses readers' attention (and the boy's) to the destination of his surprise. "Finders, keepers" does apply. This sophisticated farmyard tale is sprinkled with gentle plays on words and is sure to spark discussion about secrets of all kinds--those to keep, discover and share. (Picture book. 4-7)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A boy travels with his family to his grandparents' farm where his grandpa says a secret awaits him. During the long car ride that night and through the next day, the youngster longs to know what it is. When he finally gets there, he searches the henhouse, the barn, and even the cornfield, talking to the animals as he goes, but the secret eludes him. Finally, unable to sleep, he heads outside pretending to be a pirate boarding a galleon (the barn) where he once again seeks his treasure. This time he finds newborn kittens playing in the loft and happily discovers that the one wrapping itself around his feet is his "secret for keeping." The rhyming text, filled with assonance and alliteration, is lovely. However, while many passages seem authentic coming from the mouth of the youngster ("the moon follows me to the farm"; "cock-ee-doodlely-doo!/Old Rudy crows..."; "jillions of peeper frogs leap and peep"), it is difficult to believe he would describe marshmallows as "molten" or say such things as "Night tucks in around us/and rustles in the dark." The mixed-media spreads, executed in a muted palette, depict a working farm with planted fields, a hay-strewn barn with soaring swallows and frolicking kittens, and a slower pace where family members play checkers and roast marshmallows under a starry sky. Any child who has ever anticipated a surprise or experienced the delight of a new pet will enjoy this story.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761355939
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Marsha Wilson Chall is the author of many books for young readers, including Up North at the Cabin, One Pup's Up, and Pick a Pup. Marsha teaches in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, dog, and several secretive barn cats. Visit her online at www.marshachall.com. Heather M. Solomon earned a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for the picture book Clever Beatrice, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She lives in New Mexico and shares her secrets with her husband, daughter, and son.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)